George Michael: Listen back to his candid Desert Island Discs interview

The late artist spoke openly about his childhood, his sexuality, and the early days of Wham 

Clarisse Loughrey
Tuesday 27 December 2016 09:16 GMT
George Michael explained his 'self-destructive behaviour' on Desert Island Discs

George Michael was a soaring talent. A generous contributor to the LGBT community. A man who dared to live truth.

It's that spirit of mind that he brought to his interview with Kirsty Young on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, in which he spoke candidly about his life and career, in addition to offering a selection of eight tracks that had a particular impact on his life; picking Amy Winehouse's 'Love is a Losing Game' as his favourite.

Michael spoke passionately of Winehouse's talent, while also praising the likes of Roxy Music, Nirvana, Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp and Gnarls Barkley.

Most revealing, however, were discussions about how his Greek familial upbringing, and a sense of patriarchal structure, led to feelings of "terrible guilt" even as a young child.

Michael's sense of self-analysis here is astounding; the way he attributed that guilt as the reason why his life has been perceived as so "extreme" and "in some ways, self-destructive", since he never saw his talent as ever letting him down. "In a strange way, I've spent much of the 15 or 20 years trying to derail my own career, because it never seems to suffer," he reflected.

"I suffer like crazy," he continued. "I suffer all around it. I've suffered terrible things; obviously, bereavements and public humiliations, but my career always seems to right itself like a duck in a bath. Like a plastic duck in a bath. And I think, in some ways, I resent that."

The artist spoke also of his early days with Wham, his sexuality, and his insecurities. George Michael passed away peacefully at home on Christmas Day. His death is being treated as “unexplained but not suspicious” by police.

Pop superstar George Michael dies aged 53

Tributes are pouring in for the legendary singer-songwriter, as fans reflect both on his artistic contributions and his incredible sense of generosity.

You can listen to the full interview here.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in